Financial Assistance to Non-Government Groups

Section 97 of the Scotland Act 1998 provides for an Order in Council to allow the SPCB to provide assistance for opposition parties (link: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga) by making payments to registered political parties in the Parliament “for the purpose of assisting members of the Parliament who are connected with such parties to perform their Parliamentary duties.”

To be eligible, a party may have no more Ministers or Junior Ministers than one fifth of the total number of Ministers and Junior Ministers within the Scottish Government. An eligible party is entitled to an annual sum based on the number of members of the Parliament who are connected to the party, and the Assistance Order makes provision for annual up-rating of this sum.

Financial Assistance to Non-Government Parties: 2015-16

The table shows the amounts eligible parties actually claimed in the period 2015-16. The annual entitlement per member was £7,851.75

Eligible party

Members

Total Eligible Amount

Amounts claimed

Scottish Labour Party

38

298,366.50

298,366.50

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

15

117,776.25

117,776.16

Scottish Liberal Democrats

5

39,258.75

39,258.41

Scottish Green Party

2

15,703.50

14,932.12

Total

60

471,105.00

470,333.19

 

Payments are only made for expenses incurred and claims must include a breakdown of what is being claimed and a statement that the expenses have been claimed were incurred by the Party exclusively for the purpose of assisting Members of the Parliament who are connected with the Party to perform their Parliamentary duties. A certificate must be provided to the Parliament by an independent professional auditor annually.